How to navigate development opportunities in a testing market
Brisbane’s property developers are strategically adapting to the current residential climate, controlling entire projects from end-to-end, retaining management rights and pushing for boutique projects they would be “proud to walk their families past in 20 years time”.
While retreating foreign buyers, credit curbs, increased supply and affordability constraints have all played their part in slowing Brisbane’s apartment market, experts have agreed that buyers have “woken up” and developers need to “disrupt” and “redefine” property development and management in order to keep pace.
Speaking at this year’s residential property summit held by The Urban Developer in Fortitude Valley on Friday, some of Brisbane’s residential developers said that the apartment market had done a lot of “growing up” over the last decade, stepping out of the shadows of Sydney and Melbourne and shifting focus more recently from quantity to quality, and from investors to owner-occupiers.
Developers finding success in the current climate revealed that moving away from large construction projects towards more specialised boutique offerings had enabled them to retain more control and in doing so “exceed buyers expectations” such that finished projects “feel like five-star hotels”.
As unpredictable market conditions continue to halt potential inner-city and fringe-city projects, top-end developers shared a positive outlook on the Brisbane market buoyed by an extensive infrastructure pipeline and an influx of southerners heading north.
The boutique bonanza
Responding to the market, many developers are now downsizing projects to meet market demand and achieving pre-sales requirements by targeting an increasingly selective purchaser, the owner-occupier.
Developers who have become known for high-density projects are now taking the “less is more” approach with a focus on luxury and boutique developments.
Azure Development Group director Trent Keirnan said the company’s strong pipeline was made possible by diversifying its approach to location, being flexible and able to move with the market moves, while always striving to better the final product.
“We think there is a completely unserviced proportion of the Brisbane and south-east Queensland market place for a really good quality product,” Azure Development Group director Trent Keirnan said.
“There will be a level of sophistication that continues to evolve and come to Brisbane while maintaining the core essence that makes Brisbane a relaxed placed to live.”
Mosaic chief operations officer Marina Vit said the company had remained true to its product offering, opting for design-led liveable products, which was increasingly boutique and high end.
“We remain committed to fine-tuning everything that we do, to stay in touch with consumers,” Vit said.
“We will always focus on owner-occupiers, depending on what policy changes happen, the most important thing to an investor is selling to an owner-occupier.”
Source: The Urban Developer